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Psalm 139 Good News Translation (GNT)

God's Complete Knowledge and Care[a]

139 Lord, you have examined me and you know me.
You know everything I do;
    from far away you understand all my thoughts.
You see me, whether I am working or resting;
    you know all my actions.
Even before I speak,
    you already know what I will say.
You are all around me on every side;
    you protect me with your power.
Your knowledge of me is too deep;
    it is beyond my understanding.

Where could I go to escape from you?
    Where could I get away from your presence?
If I went up to heaven, you would be there;
    if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there.
If I flew away beyond the east
    or lived in the farthest place in the west,
10 you would be there to lead me,
    you would be there to help me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    or the light around me to turn into night,
12 but even darkness is not dark for you,
    and the night is as bright as the day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You created every part of me;
    you put me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because you are to be feared;
    all you do is strange and wonderful.
    I know it with all my heart.
15 When my bones were being formed,
    carefully put together in my mother's womb,
when I was growing there in secret,
    you knew that I was there—
16     you saw me before I was born.
The days allotted to me
    had all been recorded in your book,
    before any of them ever began.
17 O God, how difficult I find your thoughts;[b]
    how many of them there are!
18 If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand.
    When I awake, I am still with you.

19 O God, how I wish you would kill the wicked!
    How I wish violent people would leave me alone!
20 They say wicked things about you;
    they speak evil things against your name.[c]
21 O Lord, how I hate those who hate you!
    How I despise those who rebel against you!
22 I hate them with a total hatred;
    I regard them as my enemies.

23 Examine me, O God, and know my mind;
    test me, and discover my thoughts.
24 Find out if there is any evil in me
    and guide me in the everlasting way.[d]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 139:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by David.
  2. Psalm 139:17 how difficult I find your thoughts; or how precious are your thoughts to me.
  3. Psalm 139:20 Probable text they speak … name; Hebrew unclear.
  4. Psalm 139:24 the everlasting way; or the ways of my ancestors.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Psalm 139 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 139

The Inescapable God

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit?
    Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
    if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
    and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light around me become night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is as bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15     My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
    all the days that were formed for me,
    when none of them as yet existed.
17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
    I come to the end[a]—I am still with you.

19 O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
    and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—
20 those who speak of you maliciously,
    and lift themselves up against you for evil![b]
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my thoughts.
24 See if there is any wicked[c] way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.[d]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 139:18 Or I awake
  2. Psalm 139:20 Cn: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Psalm 139:24 Heb hurtful
  4. Psalm 139:24 Or the ancient way. Compare Jer 6.16
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Psalm 139 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

139 (0) For the leader. A psalm of David:

(1) Adonai, you have probed me, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I stand up,
you discern my inclinations from afar,
you scrutinize my daily activities.
You are so familiar with all my ways
that before I speak even a word, Adonai,
you know all about it already.
You have hemmed me in both behind and in front
and laid your hand on me.
Such wonderful knowledge is beyond me,
far too high for me to reach.

Where can I go to escape your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
if I lie down in Sh’ol, you are there.
If I fly away with the wings of the dawn
and land beyond the sea,
10 even there your hand would lead me,
your right hand would hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Let darkness surround me,
let the light around me be night,”
12 even darkness like this
is not too dark for you;
rather, night is as clear as day,
darkness and light are the same.

13 For you fashioned my inmost being,
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I thank you because I am awesomely made,
wonderfully; your works are wonders —
I know this very well.
15 My bones were not hidden from you
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes could see me as an embryo,
but in your book all my days were already written;
my days had been shaped
before any of them existed.
17 God, how I prize your thoughts!
How many of them there are!
18 If I count them, there are more than grains of sand;
if I finish the count, I am still with you.

19 God, if only you would kill off the wicked!
Men of blood, get away from me!
20 They invoke your name for their crafty schemes;
yes, your enemies misuse it.
21 Adonai, how I hate those who hate you!
I feel such disgust with those who defy you!
22 I hate them with unlimited hatred!
They have become my enemies too.

23 Examine me, God, and know my heart;
test me, and know my thoughts.
24 See if there is in me any hurtful way,
and lead me along the eternal way.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Psalm 139 The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

139 1-6 God, investigate my life;
    get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!

7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
    to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.

17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
    God, I’ll never comprehend them!
I couldn’t even begin to count them—
    any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
    And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
And you murderers—out of here!—
    all the men and women who belittle you, God,
    infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
See how I hate those who hate you, God,
    see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
    Your enemies are my enemies!

23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
    find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
    get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
    then guide me on the road to eternal life.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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